I have very fond memories of this cake, in our house if there was a really special occasion, we were taken out for dinner to the Bridge House Restaurant, Tullamore. The Bridge was of great renown locally and it was a great treat to have your birthday dinner here. The pastry chef was very talented and she made the most spectacular Black Forest Gâteau, it was moist, slightly boozy and a work of art to look at. When the appointed time would arrive, I would try to act nonchalant as they dimmed the lights in the restaurant, out would come the cake with a halo of blazing candles (they'd probably need a fire officer on stand by for such an occasion now!) The cake was finished in the proper German fashion with cream all around the top and sides and then dashed with grated chocolate, completely beyond me that skill. It was also made up of four layers, which you could easily do here by splitting the two sponges and layering up as usual. I opted for a more rustic look here, because I plan to make it more often now especially if I don't have to worry about splitting sponges and all that. Enjoy.
175g Soft margarine
175g Caster Sugar
140g Self-raising flour
35g Cocoa powder
410g Can Black Cherries in syrup
500g Fresh cherries (380g Stoned cherries)
150g Caster sugar
2tbsp Kirsch or Rum
250ml Whipping Cream
25g Dark chocolate, grated
To Make the Sponge:
Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/350ºF/ Gas 6.
Place the margarine, sugar, flour, cocoa, eggs and water in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer for 3-4 minutes.
Divide the mixture between the two sandwich tins and bake on a middle shelf for 20-25 minutes. To test if the cake is done, insert a clean skewer into the middle of the cake - if it comes out clean then the cake is ready.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
To Make the Cherry Filling:
Place the halved and stoned cherries in a small saucepan, add the water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until the cherries are soft. Meanwhile mix the sugar and cornflour together, removing the lumps.
Assembling the Cake:
Set aside 8 cherries for the top of the cake. Place the two rounds on a chopping board and spoon some of the cherry syrup evenly over each disc and leave to soak in. Whip the cream until firm, place 4-5 tbsp onto a piping bag with a medium star nozzle, set aside. Place one of the rounds on a large serving plate, spread with about one third of the cream, evenly distribute the cherry filling, top with more cream.
Carefully place the second round on top and gently press down with your open hand, spread the with the remaining cream and sprinkle the grated chocolate over the top of the cake.
Pipe eight rosettes around the edge of the cake and one large one in the center, top each rosette with a reserved cherry. Chill until needed. Sumptuous!
The tinned cherries are also perfect for the top of the cake too.